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The 'Wolfman' by Sigmund Freud & Sigmund Freud

The 'Wolfman' by Sigmund Freud & Sigmund Freud

Author:Sigmund Freud & Sigmund Freud
Language: eng
Format: epub
ISBN: 9780141939148
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Published: 2010-07-13T16:00:00+00:00


VII

Anal Eroticism and the Castration Complex

I must ask the reader to remember that this history of an infantile neurosis was recovered as a by-product, so to speak, of the analysis of a patient who had fallen ill in more mature years. I was thus obliged to piece it together out of even tinier fragments than those that are normally available when any kind of synthesis is attempted. Such work, which is otherwise not difficult, finds its natural limit at the point where it becomes a question of capturing a multidimensional structure in the two-dimensionality of description. I must therefore content myself with offering individual limbs which the reader can join together into a living whole. The obsessive-compulsive neurosis I have described developed, as I have emphasized repeatedly, out of an anal-sadistic constitution. Up until now, however, we have only considered one of these two principal factors, sadism and its transformations. Anything concerned with anal eroticism I have deliberately left on one side in order to give a full account of it here.

Analysts have long agreed that the many involuntary impulses [Triebregungen] that can be summed up as anal eroticism are extraordinarily and inestimably important to the development of the individual’s sexual life and to inner activity as a whole. And equally, that one of the most important expressions of eroticism derived from this source and recast in a different mould is to be found in the treatment of money, a valuable substance which, in the course of the individual’s life, attracts the psychic interest which properly belongs to that product of the anal zone, faeces. We have grown accustomed to tracing interest in money, where its nature is libidinal rather than rational, back to excremental pleasure, and to expect of any normal person that his relationship to money should be kept free of libidinal influences and controlled by realistic considerations.

In our patient’s case this relationship was particularly badly disrupted at the time of his later illness, this being not the least important reason for his lack of independence and his inability to cope with life. Having inherited money from both his father and his uncle, he was now very rich and it was manifestly of great importance to him that people should know that he was a rich man; he could be greatly offended if he was underestimated in this regard. And yet he did not know how much he possessed, what his expenditure was, nor how much was left. It was difficult to know whether to call him a miser or a spendthrift. Sometimes he behaved one way, sometimes another, but never in a way that suggested consistent intentions. Certain striking traits of character, which I shall describe later, might lead one to conclude that he was an unrepentant swank who regarded his wealth as his greatest personal asset and who would never even begin to put feelings on a par with money. But he did not judge other people according to their wealth and there were many occasions when he actually turned out to be modest, sympathetic and ready to help.



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